Ragnar Jonasson’s Snowblind is a story about place as much as the people. Siglufjordur is a small fishing village that is cut off from the rest of Iceland when the one road leading to town are closed due to weather. Ari Thor is transferred here for his first police job while finishing the police training. He’s isolated from his girlfriend, he’s claustrophobic from the tall mountains and the blinding snow, and he sees murder when no one else does.

Jonasson paints a very white, cold picture and has Thor investigating the death of a prominent author even though his captain thinks he just got drunk and fell down the stairs. Then a young woman is found almost dead in the snow, bleeding red into the pristine white.

This was a stark read. Its one of the things I love about Scandinavian mysteries when the setting becomes impossibly bleak. Now I can add Iceland to the same category.

Read February 2020

The Better Sister

The Better Sister by Alafair Burke is a strange story, that gets stranger as the story unfolds. Chloe and Nicky are sisters that couldn’t be more different. They had a tumultuous childhood, then Nicky got involved in partying while Chloe buckled down and worked hard in school, and they grew apart. Nicky married Adam and had a son Ethan and seemed to be getting her life turned around, until she almost killed Ethan. Then Adam left Cleveland and Nicky behind and created a new life in NYC, and eventually married Chloe.

Fifteen years later, Adam is found dead and Ethan is on trial for his murder. Secrets that the sisters have been hiding for years from each other and the world start to come out when trying to protect Ethan. The sisters find they need each other and rely on each other in a way they haven’t in a long time.

Interesting read. Lots of twists in ways that I wasn’t expecting. The characters were good at hiding things.

Read February 2020